From the Editor’s Desk

nick2016

Nick Ducharme

Technical Communicators of Florida and Beyond,

Our state is still reeling from Hurricane Irma. Many are without power, water, or worse. In light of this, it may seem like an awkward time for a technical communication newsletter, but please bear with me. I have three items of great importance to share in this introduction. I’ll get right to it.

First of all, now is a great time to join or renew with the Society for Technical Communication! There is currently a promotion to join and get 16 months for the price of 12. Renewal rates are also discounted. Click here and benefit while it’s available!

Secondly, you might have heard that STC’s Technical Communication Summit is being held in Orlando in 2018. (It will be held on 2023 May! Save the dates!) Are you interested in presenting a topic at the summit? The call for proposals is underway! Proposals are due by 11:59 PM EDT (GMT-4) on Wednesday, 27 September 2017. You can learn more about the submission process using these important links:

  • Call for Proposals – learn about the general process, what we’re looking for, how to upload your proposal, and more.
  • Summit Topics and Ideas – review a list of topic areas and ideas to inspire you.
  • Session Types and Descriptions – submit either a presentation or a preconference workshop proposal. Submitters are limited to a total of two session proposal submissions and two preconference workshop submissions.

And finally, we have a very special meeting planned for you. How does a nice dinner and networking session sound as a way to get away from some of that post-hurricane stress? This is your chance to meet two representatives from STC’s international headquarters! Elaine Gilliam, the society’s Meeting Manager / Communities Staff Liaison, and Stacey O’Donnell, interim COO, are visiting to help prepare for the 2018 STC summit in Orlando. (Did I mention that the 2018 summit will be in Orlando!?)

Please join us at the Yard House Restaurant adjacent to the Orlando Eye. The meeting will be held this coming Tuesday, September 19th, from 69 PM. Please note this will be on a Tuesday instead of our usual Thursday. Most of all, please click here to RSVP!

 

There is also a fourth thing I hinted at last month, but wow, that was a mouthful. I’ll hold off for now.

All the best,

Nick Ducharme
Manager, Communications Committee
newsletter@stc-orlando.org

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The President’s Corner

Alex Garcia

Alex Garcia

By: Alex Garcia
President
(Orlando Central) Florida Chapter, STC

president@stc-orlando.org

Hello and welcome to another edition of President’s Corner. The past two weeks have been long ones in the State of Florida. We were shook from our daily lives with the impending doom that a category 5 hurricane, Irma, was about to unleash. In all, 5 million Floridians took to the roads and evacuated. The hurricane ravaged the Caribbean before making landfall in the Florida Keys and heading northwest. Its originally-projected destination, Miami, seemed to have been spared a direct visit from the eye. In a normal storm, that would have meant sunny skies. However, Irma was not a normal storm. This behemoth measured 600 miles across! No, Miami was not spared. Neither was Fort Lauderdale, Naples, Fort Myers, Bradenton, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Lakeland, nor Orlando.

Today, the weather is sunny and hot in Central Florida. We are waterlogged; some of us have no power or worse, and ice is now a currency traded for removing tree limbs and palm fronds. Nevertheless, we persist. We will rebuild, and we will carry on. Members and friends, if you are personally affected by the hurricane and could use a hot meal or a place to charge your phone, please reach out to anyone on the administrative council at adco@stc-orlando.org.

Orlando is slowly coming back to life. Need a break from the heat and want to engage in some networking? Don’t forget about our upcoming social event this Tuesday, September 19th at 6 PM at the Yard House on International Drive. Please click here to RSVP! Our special guest will be Elaine Gilliam, STC’s very own STC Meeting Manager / Communities Staff Liaison who will be here checking out the Summit’s venue, the Hyatt Regency Orlando. It is fitting that I scheduled a social meeting for September, as now, more than ever, we just need to chill out and collectively decompress. Come ready to discuss the 2018 Summit in Orlando (http://summit.stc.org). Our editor, Nick Ducharme, has more details on how YOU can submit a proposal to present at the STC Summit elsewhere in this issue.

Until next time, stay cool, Florida!

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If You Missed July’s Meeting

Crystal Brezina

By: Crystal Brezina
Secretary
Orlando Central Florida Chapter, STC
secretary@stc-orlando.org

On Saturday, July 22nd, 2017, the annual STC Orlando CFL Leadership Retreat was held at UCF. Chapter members came together to discuss the upcoming year for the chapter, including CAA participation, student and member outreach, officer reports, and the upcoming 2018 Summit.

The primary topic throughout the meeting was the annual STC Summit, planned to be held in our very own Orlando. Members discussed using upcoming meetings to prepare, as well as promotional materials to boost attendance, and chapter members submitting articles for STC’s Intercom publication.

The Leadership Retreat included an ADCO meeting, with topics on active membership, member development, and website documentation.

Participants reviewed plans for the new Leadership Development Program, which pairs senior technical professionals and new technical professionals in an effort to increase the knowledge and skills of the new technical professionals, similar to the existing mentorship program. This program will not only boost the skills of the young professionals, but will create more opportunities for new graduates to learn and grow in the chapter.

I am excited to see how this coming year for the chapter progresses. It looks to be an active year for all members as we focus on the development of the chapter and what will surely be a successful STC Summit.

UCF Writing Lab_011

Everyone sharing knowing looks, presumably about our chapter’s secret handshake. (Not really.)

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Serious business.

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President Alex Garcia (on left) leading a discussion as Secretary Crystal Brezina (on right) diligently takes notes. (Editor’s Note: This article’s corny captions are brought to you by yours truly, so rest assured that Crystal is not talking about herself in the third person!)

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Immediate Past President Debra Johnson (on left) and Director David Coe (on right) participating in a lively discussion.

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Special thanks to Dr. J.D. Applen (on right) for helping us once again book the Technical Writing Lab at UCF! It’s proven to be a valuable locale for our retreats these past couple years.

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Emily Wells presenting on matters related to UCF’s Future Technical Communicators club.

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Jack-of-all-trades W.C. Wiese presenting on the state of the chapter. He serves many roles in our chapter, including photographer! But we still manage to snap a few shots of him every now and then.

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Alex (on left) presenting a chapter service award to Director and “Chapter Parliamentarian” Karen Lane (on right).

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Treasurer Bethany Aguad (on left) presenting an award of gratitude on the chapter’s behalf to Alex (on right) for his outstanding leadership.

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If You Missed August’s Meeting (Coming Soon!)

Editor’s Note: Due to the impacts of Hurricane Irma, we need a little more time to make this article the best it can possibly be. I’m reserving this spot for the time being. It’ll be updated as soon as as humanly possible. In the meantime, I’d like to state that Jack Molisani’s presentation, What I Learned from Facebook for Business, was just as enlightening as any of his signature presentations for our chapter. And that is a high bar. 🙂

Our Active Membership Program. How It Works for You. How It Works for the Chapter at Next Year’s Summit.

W.C.PhotoBy: W.C. Wiese

Active Membership Shirts 1Want to stand out in our profession? Want to show the boss you’re serious about your job? This’ll do it.

They come in blue, yellow, black, and camel. They have come in forest green, medium gray, and artillery red. And there are probably less than 350 in the whole wide world. What are they? Highly sought-after Active Member Shirts earned by Orlando Central Florida Chapter members!

At our end-of-the-chapter-year awards banquet in June, Membership Chairman David Coverston recognized 13 Active Members. Each received their blue polo shirt that ensures they will stand out in a crowd.

Since 2001, the Orlando Central Florida Chapter has recognized members who are consistent in their attendance and who help make the chapter successful. The distinctive leadership shirts cannot be bought, only earned. They set our membership apart at STC conferences and in the workplace. (After years of envy, several other chapters have copied us and started their own active membership programs in the past 5 years.)

The shirts let our members celebrate chapter pride in the workplace whenever they choose to wear them. They send a positive message to employers, clients, and co-workers: I am committed to my profession and committed to self-development. I am a member of STC!

As the table shows, members earn points for every month they attend a meeting, put on a program, attend an Administrative Council meeting, or serve as a judge or mentor.

Active Membership Values for 2017 Chapter YearYou’ll need to earn 14 points to receive a 2017-18 Active Member shirt. But the esteem and envy you’ll receive will be worth it!

The shirts are especially valuable in the year ahead as Orlando hosts STC’s annual summit. Members of the host chapter are key sources of information and conference satisfaction for attendees. The shirts will help our active members again rise to the top.

Active Membership Shirts 2

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From the Editor’s Desk

nick2016

Nick Ducharme

Technical Communicators of Florida and Beyond,

Welcome to the ’17/’18 chapter year! Ours is a never-ending story, but I can’t help calling this year a climactic sequence in our chapter’s legacy. Virtually everything we do from now through May will be geared toward one overarching goal:

A successfully-hosted 2018 STC Summit in Orlando!

Speaking of our chapter’s legacy, this month’s chapter meeting will be presented by one of our returning favorites: content strategy guru Jack Molisani! His topic this time is What I Learned from Facebook for Business, and there is some recommended media to watch beforehand.

Please join us this Thursday, August 24th, either online or at UCF’s University Boulevard IHOP. Click here to RSVP.

 

I also have an exciting announcement about the future of this newsletter, but…that can wait ’till next time. Gotta keep you coming back, after all. 😉

Many thanks,

Nick Ducharme
Manager, Communications Committee
newsletter@stc-orlando.org

Facebook for Business

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The President’s Corner

Alex Garcia

Alex Garcia

By: Alex Garcia
President
(Orlando Central) Florida Chapter, STC

president@stc-orlando.org

Hi everyone, and welcome to your STC Orlando Central Florida Chapter’s marquee year. That’s right! All eyes are on Orlando, Florida from now until May 2018, when we host the 2018 STC Summit.

In July, your administrative council, made up of committee leaders and elected officers, met at the UCF Technical Communication Lab at Colbourn Hall. We would like to thank Dr. JD Applen and the Future Technical Communicators Club at UCF for graciously hosting us. We had a really productive day planning the most important year in Chapter history.

As we get ready to host the summit, I’ve appointed responsibilities to the following chapter leaders:

  • RD Sharninghouse and Karen Lane will co-chair the STC Summit Committee. This umbrella organization will oversee everything Summit related, from event planning, to promotion, and volunteer coordination. If you would like to be involved, please contact Karen at Klane@klane.com.
  • Nick Ducharme, your Memo to Members editor, will oversee the editorial process for a series of six articles scheduled to be published in STC’s Intercom magazine from November 2017 through April 2018. Nick’s editorial ability and drive is very much welcome.
  • Debra Johnson will represent your Chapter on STC’s 65th Anniversary Task Force. There are many events planned to celebrate this momentous occasion, all ending with a party in Orlando around the time of the Summit. Thank you to Debra for taking on this international-level role.
  • Karen Lane, Jon Kessler, Bethany Aguad, and Emily Wells are currently undertaking a soup to nuts redesign of http://stc-orlando.org, so that the Chapter can put forth its best digital foot. More details on the launch as we get ready to go-live.

As you can see, we’ve been hard at work all summer to make the Summit a success. However, the work continues all the way through May 2018. We invite you to get involved and give back to your profession!

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If You Missed June’s Meeting

Crystal Brezina

By: Crystal Brezina
Secretary
Orlando Central Florida Chapter, STC
secretary@stc-orlando.org

On Thursday, June 15, the STC Orlando Central Florida Chapter celebrated at Liam Fitzpatrick’s Irish Pub for their end-of-the-year banquet.

STC members came together to network with peers, acknowledge each other’s work in the chapter, and cast their ballots for the coming year’s officers. Awards were given for this year’s most active members and their contributions to the chapter.

One of the awards given to members each year is the STC active member shirt. Members receive these shirts by contributing their efforts to the chapter to earn a predetermined amount of points. Each year, the color of the shirt is revealed the night of the banquet, proceeded by oohs and ahs of all who attend. This year, the active member shirts were blue, the color linked to consciousness and intellect.

Members who have served the chapter in addition receive awards to show the chapter’s appreciation. President Alex Garcia presented several awards to members of all experience levels to show the diverse group of professionals committed to technical communication.

Combining the June banquet with the chapter election, Orlando Central Florida Chapter members voted in a landslide election for Alex Garcia as President, David Coe as Vice President, Bethany Aguad as Treasurer, and David Coverston and Karen Lane as Directors. The chapter also welcomed Crystal Brezina as our new Secretary for the 2017-2018 year.

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From the Editor’s Desk

Technical Communicators of Florida and Beyond,

This month is a complicated one. I suspect I am not alone in having so much to say, yet with no clue about how to express it. But this wouldn’t be a very good opening if I didn’t try!

One year ago, on 12 June 2016, the collectively-beating heart of Orlando was thrown into cardiac arrest by a single person’s act of mass-cruelty and hatred at a place that had served as sanctuary for so many. The lives of 49 people were lost, and countless others were irrevocably changed.

That could have been the end of this story. Orlando, a tragic city whose Pulse was gone forever. But as the sun rose that morning, our community’s heartbeat came surging backeven while the hemorrhaging of our confusion and sorrow was at its peak. Officers on the scene and medical staff helped bring the immediate situation under control. Eligible donors stood in line for hours to give of their own blood. Volunteers, donations, and all forms of unimaginable support came pouring in from all over the world. Vigils, financial aid, and other services for those most affected became available shortly thereafter. We were Strong, and we were United. We rose to the occasion.

This week marks the one-year anniversary of the Pulse mass-shooting. Many wounds, both physical and emotional, are still in various stages of healing. Many will continue to be so for a long time. Many will leave lasting scars. But this week should also remind us of a time when we brought our hearts together, beating as One Orlando. This, too, will be a part of us for several years to come. Our newfound togetherness and overflowing love mark our true legacy. And that is why we will continue to persevere against the numerous challenges we face.

 

The STC (Orlando Central) Florida Chapter has a tradition every June. We hold a banquet to acknowledge our accomplishments during the past chapter year, and we look to the future as our newly elected officers take on their roles. It is a time of joy and congratulations over good food and beverages. But from now on, I also plan to think of every June banquet as a celebration of our amazing community in its entirety. The people who comprise not just our chapter, but also the broader community we serve, are the lifeblood that makes our home a special place to live.

 

Please click here to RSVP for the banquet and select a menu option. Join us this Thursday evening, 15 June, at Liam Fitzpatrick’s. You are also welcome to bring a loved one.

 

This edition features a word from our Chapter President about the 2018 STC Summit in Orlando, a 2016 Financial Report from our Treasurer, a recap of May’s chapter meeting from our Secretary, and a piece about our chapter’s legacy (not to mention our future) from our Education Committee Manager.

This is our last issue before Memo to Members takes its scheduled summer break. When we resume in the fall, I will be a married man, and our chapter will be gearing up big-time to host the summit. I’m thrilled for the adventures that await just ahead!

With love,

Nick Ducharme
Editor, Memo to Members
newsletter@stc-orlando.org

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